When the Warrior Showed His Fragile Side

Daniil Medvedev called Rafael Nadal a machine on the tennis court, while Diego Schwartzman dubbed him “the lion the king of the jungle”. Another tennis player called Nadal a warrior. However, when the 19th Grand Slam was won, its fragility was seen. He cried.

Nadal cried, covered his face with his hands, then wiped tears when he saw the video of his journey won 19 Grand Slam titles. The video was screened by the organizer of the United States Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, New York, Sunday (09/08/2019) evening local time.

The event was made before the award ceremony for the Spaniard after winning the US Open. Victory, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, in 4 hours 50 minutes, over Daniil Medvedev (Russia) brought him closer to his rival’s 20 Grand Slam titles, Roger Federer. It also became Nadal’s fourth title at the US Open after 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Nadal uses his ingenuity to anticipate Medvedev’s unusual punch style that makes the ball’s direction, speed, and spin difficult to guess. The forehand style of the 23-year-old was quite strange because the point of the racket and ball was not in front of the body, but beside his body.

However, after the tennis player, who for the first time appeared in the Grand Slam final, made the match last for up to five sets, the dominant factor seen from Nadal was not ingenuity or physical endurance. The factor seen from him was the determination to survive, despite being frustrated in the fifth set.

In this deciding set, Nadal should have been able to win faster when he was leading, 5-2. But, Medvedev approached him to 5-4. One of Medvedev’s points was due to a violation committed by Nadal while serving in the eighth game.

Holding service for the champion, Nadal received a “penalty” for losing the first service, at 30-40. It is due to he passed the service deadline for 25 seconds. Nadal finally lost the game because of a double fault.

Nadal also lost two match points in the ninth game, before winning the match on the third match point in the 10th game. He was relieved while his parents, younger siblings and fiancee cried and embraced in the team’s stands.

“It is very difficult to beat Nadal, but I will always remember this moment, my first final in the Grand Slam,” said Medvedev who rose one place to fourth in the world after the US Open.

Nadal’s outrage in the field turned into emotion when he watched the victory video on the 19 Grand Slams played by the committee on the big screen. The title row began when he won the first trophy at the 2005 French Open, at the age of 19. At that time, he was still in long hair style with a sleeveless shirt and knee-length pants.

After winning the French Open title for the 12th time, in June, the video ended his victory over Medvedev. Throughout the show, as many as 23,000 spectators in the stadium continued to applaud.

“We’re all getting older. Seeing all that I’ve been through and can still be here, it’s very special to me. I have been through a heavy moment, mainly because of an injury. After that, mentality I feel down. So when I saw that moment, I remembered my trip. I tried to hold back my emotions, but it turned out to be difficult, “he said.

Passion and Love

Almost every year, the 33-year-old tennis player is disturbed by injury. In 2018 he resigned when he competed with Juan Martin Del Potro in the US Open semifinal with a right knee injury. That was the end of Nadal’s performance in 2018.

The same injury prevented him from playing against Federer in the Indian Wells Masters semifinals in March and canceled his appearance at the Miami Masters. He also got a bad result at the clay tournament. Failing to win in three tournaments, Nadal won only the Rome Masters and the French Open.

“I have to adjust my problems to the game and the target. When you lose something, you have to find something else to stay competitive, “said the world number two.

The US Open champion trophy won by Nadal emphasized the dominance of the “Big Three” in the Grand Slam arena. Of the last 64 tournaments since 2004, a total of 54 titles were won by Nadal, Djokovic, or Federer.

“We have been in this competition for about 15 years. Sooner or later, our era will end. I am 33 years old, Novak 32, Roger 38, Andy also 32. Time cannot be stopped, it is a part of our lives, “he said.

When asked the key to his success in competing at the top level since 2005, Nadal answered briefly as he often said, “My passion and love for what I do”.

In addition, Nadal also has a principle that is always held in competition: learn a lot from defeat and learn to be humble when you win.

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